For teacher-blogger Jose Vilson, teaching math skills to his often overage students is one thing. Getting them to think big for themselves and their futures is another, as a handshake from a macho middle schooler yesterday reminded him. Vilson writes:
Frankly, I can hardly blame the kid for coming up to me thinking he’d try and intimidate me with his “tough talk.” He’s very open about his late-night excursions and makes overly lucid (and lewd) gestures. Why, that’s similar to what he’s already seeing promoted to him all over the media that’s targeted towards him. Yet, working with his dad doing janitorial work on the weekends and studying doesn’t appeal to him because he rarely sees men of his background step up to the plate, take him by the shoulder, and guide him any which way. As a teacher, I stand directly against what hes already been taught about himself, and that’s probably the hardest part about teaching him in general.